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Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Comput. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fcomp.2020.00023

A Virtual Τour of a Hardly Accessible Archaeological Site: the Effect of Immersive Virtual Reality in User Experience, Learning and Attitude Change Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Laboratory of Microsoft Computer Games and Emerging Technologies Research, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
  • 2Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies (RISE), Cyprus
  • 3GET Lab, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
  • 4Event Lab, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Cyprus Interaction Lab, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Some archaeological sites are not easily accessible by visitors due to mobility or geographical restrictions. Digital technology can make such sites virtually accessible and provide educational information at the same time. Towards this goal we created a digital reconstruction of the archaeological site of Choirokoitia. Given that a 3D digital reconstruction can be used along with different technologies, we designed and developed an interactive application, where users can navigate and get information about the site, for two different systems: Virtual Reality (VR) systems and desktop computers. A feasibility study was conducted where we compared aspects of the two systems, allowing the suggestion of the proper technology to be used, according to the users’ aims., The results showed higher levels of presence and more positive experience by the participants that used the VR system compared to those that used the desktop version. On the other hand, the greater learning gains were demonstrated in participants that used the desktop version compared to those who used the VR version. No differences were shown between the two groups regarding the participants’ change of attitudes toward the archaeology of Cyprus.

Keywords: virtual reality, Cultural heritage, Immersion, Learning, User Experience, Attitudes change

Received: 30 Jan 2020; Accepted: 09 Jun 2020.

Copyright: © 2020 Kyrlitsias, Christofi, Michael-Grigoriou, Banakou and Ioannou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Despina Michael-Grigoriou, Cyprus University of Technology, GET Lab, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Limassol, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus,